Sunday, 7 December 2008


I should be editing my book instead of writing this. When I'm not editing it and fixing it, I'm thinking about it and feeling guilty that I'm not doing it. So when I'm walking down the street, concentrating on other things, reading things I've not written or watching television, I'm filled with guilt.

I needed to take this weekend off and remember myself, remember the 'I' in the book and who that 'I' is. I was going a bit mad last week, living on coffee and diet coke and sleepless nights listening to the same three albums over and over again (for the record, by Sparklehorse, Grandaddy and TV on the Radio) and writing like a man possessed. So this weekend, when I stopped the writing, just to catch up with myself. I found all I wanted to do was drink beer and watch television. I didn't really want to see anyone or do anything. The cocoon of my flat became a battleground for Cylons, a verbal sparring match for David Duchovny and a motivational speech by Alec Baldwin. A weekend of Battlestar Galactica, Californication and 30 Rock was how I unwound. And when I felt like I needed to head out of the house for fresh air, I went to the cinema. For more visual stimulation. Christmas is coming and the winter is drawing in and so am I. I watched Starbuck and Colonel Tigh get bitter and self-destructive after their New Caprica rescue; I watched Baltar acclimatise to his new home on a Cylon homebase. I learnt about having no regrets, about remembering the past and not being shackled to it. About how to keep fighting, even when defeat is mostly inevitable. Watching Californication, I learnt about the playfulness of language, watching Duchovny throwing around quips and pop culture references. I learnt about good writing and what it's going to take for me to be better. Watching 30 Rock, I learnt about writing good comedy, about pacing and characterisation, about how to unfold plots in 30 minutes and how spread out the jokes should, how to orchestrate hilarity in quips and plot structure and character. Man alive, I wish I was Tracey Jordan.

I know not everything needs a life lesson and most of these things may seem cheesy, but I feel completely relaxed and television may be the drug of a nation but it was my university.

Here are my 3 favourite songs of the weekend:
Lightspeed Champion - Galaxy of the Lost

Sparklehorse - Piano Fire

Emmy the Great (:swoon: - her debut is the first best album of 2009)- MIA

TV and music saved me from a pit of reflective self-loathing this weekend. Right, tomorrow, back to the book. I promise, agent, cos I know you're reading this- I'm carrying on with chapter 6 tomorrow, and it's a corker...

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